July 24, 2014, is the 100th day of captivity for the remaining 219 teenage girls still held by Boko Haram terrorists. On April 14, nearly 300 school girls were kidnapped from a school near Chibok in northeast Nigeria. Approximately 57 students managed to flee shortly after they were captured when Boko Haram terrorists went to attack another village. According to a mediator working with Boko Haram, two of the girls have died of “snake bites,” while another twenty are seriously ill. Rallies to support the young women will take place today around the world. There will also be a rally today at noon at the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C. Among the invited speakers at the Washington, D.C., rally will be Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas. Chibok and nearby villages are particular Boko Haram targets because they are enclaves of devout Christian believers in the predominantly Moslem northern Nigeria. Further, the leader of Boko Haram released a video in which he mocked the #BringBackOurGirls campaign famously championed by Mrs. Obama and Secretary John F. Kerry’s Department of State.
Sadly, since April, international attention for the school girls has waned, and media reports indicate that the 219 students are being held captive in the Sambisa Forest, which is an area of thick jungle and open savannah, bordering on sand dunes at the edge of the Sahara Desert. There have been reported sightings of the girls and their captors in neighboring Cameroon and Chad as well. Adding further tragedy to the kidnappings, eleven parents have died since the mass kidnapping. Seven of the girls’ fathers were among 51 killed earlier this month after another attack by Boko Haram in the village of Kautakari. Further, at least four more parents have died of heart failure and other illnesses blamed on the trauma caused by the kidnapping. The British Daily Mail reported that community leader, Pogu Bitrus, said one father of two of the kidnapped girls simply went into a coma-like condition, where he repeated the names of his daughters until he eventually died. Every village in the area of Chibok has been attacked and ransacked, along with all the villages bordering Cameroon. The Boko Haram attacks continue despite the fact the Nigerian military has placed the area under a state of emergency since May 2013. Although the Nigerian military presence has increased dramatically in the area, soldiers often refuse to deploy to villages under attack even when there are advanced warnings, which is typically the case. In addition, transportation in the area is hampered because the frequent Boko Haram attacks have left the roads impassable with burned-out automobiles and other debris.
On this 100th day of the captivity of the school girls, please remember to pray for their release, and to pray for their families who are suffering greatly. Please also pray for their persecutors that they might turn from their wickedness, and come to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.